Access Must Be Provided to Units or Suites During Fire Alarm Inspections and Tests

Posted on: July 19, 2017

State law gives condo associations right of access during reasonable hours

Whether you live in, own, or manage a condo, fire safety inspections and fire alarm tests are an essential part of keeping you and the building safe. According to Chapters 718 and 719 of the Florida Statutes, a condo association has the “irrevocable right of access to each unit during reasonable hours” for the purpose of maintaining, repairing, or inspecting parts of the unit that are maintained by the association to prevent damage to the unit or to the building as whole.

This means that when your building has a fire alarm inspection – you need to give inspectors access. And if you own or manage a condo, you have the right to demand access to ensure the effectiveness of your building’s life safety systems and the safety of occupants.

What you need to do if you live in or own a condo

While the Florida Statutes do not specifically mention whether you are required to provide a key to your condo association in order for it to access your unit for repairs, maintenance, or inspection, it’s a good idea to provide one anyway. Inability to access your unit for repairs, especially if you’ve been notified ahead of time, could be an expensive mistake.

For example, if a condo association has hired a company to repair or inspect the entire building, they may charge you an additional fee or fine if a contractor or technician has to come back to the building on a separate occasion for the sole purpose of inspecting your unit.

Why regular inspections are essential for condo safety

If you live in a condo, regular fire and life safety systems inspections are extremely important. Considering the fact that condos have tens and sometimes hundreds of units, there are many individual devices to test. These may include water sprinklers, fire alarms, smoke detectors, and other equipment installed to keep residents safe.

For example, in a 25-story condo with more than 100 units, even if most of the water sprinklers work, all it takes is one or two units with malfunctioning sprinklers for a potentially dangerous fire to spread in the building, endangering both lives and the property. Additionally, in such a large structure, it is of utmost importance that all the fire alarms work correctly – if the alarms do not work on a few floors, many residents may not hear them.

There are a variety of other unique considerations when planning for the safety of condos, especially large ones, making it all the more important that qualified inspectors have access to every unit in order to conduct a thorough inspection of all safety equipment and technology.

At LifeSafety Management, we understand the specific risks inherent in every type of structure, and we have the experience to help you defend against a variety of threats. If you think your building’s life safety or security systems may need repairs, inspections, or maintenance, at (800) 330-1158 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.